Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero is seeking the inclusion of Guam in the regulations implementing a presidential directive that raises the minimum hourly rate for federal contractors to $15 per hour.
“The application of the executive order to Guam will generate a positive impact that will extend onto wage earners across the island and into our overall economy,” Leon Guerrero said in a letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Martin Walsh.
The minimum wage increase for federal contractors is mandated by Executive Order 14026 signed by President Joe Biden on April 27. Walsh is tasked to issue regulations to implement the mandate by Nov. 24.
The minimum wage for workers performing work on covered federal contracts is currently $10.95 per hour and the tipped minimum wage is $7.65 per hour.
The executive order mandates all agencies to incorporate a $15 minimum wage in new contract solicitations starting Jan. 30, 2022. By March 30, 2022, all agencies will need to implement the minimum wage into new contracts.
Every year after 2022, the hourly wage will be automatically adjusted to reflect changes in the cost of living.
The directive also requires all agencies to implement the higher wage into existing contracts when the parties exercise their option to extend such contracts, which often occur annually.
“EO 14026 is landmark policy that will improve the morale and quality of life of federal contractors, including laborers, nursing assistants, and foodservice and maintenance workers. My administration’s objective to uplift workers align with those of President Biden’s, and I am hopeful that USDOL will consider my request," Leon Guerrero said.
The presidential directive will build on the Obama-Biden's administration's February 2014 executive order requiring federal contractors to pay employees working on federal contracts $10.10 per hour, subsequently indexed to inflation.
Leon Guerrero noted that the USDOL's regulations issued in 2014 did not apply to Guam. The labor department did not interpret the definition of executive departments and agencies as including Guam.
“The USDOL study that was released today noted that all 22 major occupational groups in Guam had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages," Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio added.